North Korean military units near the inter-Korean border are still on a high state of combat readiness despite North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s decision to “postpone” military action against South Korea on June 23, Daily NK has learned.

“The [military] leadership has not ordered the [high state of combat readiness] to be dismantled,” a Daily NK military source told Daily NK yesterday. “The entire military [near the inter-Korean border] is conducting drills and other activities under a high state of combat readiness.”

North Korea’s General Staff Department (GSD) ordered all military units on the country’s front lines (the inter-Korean border) to enter into their highest state of alert by 5 PM on June 21, including select naval and air force units in the area.

The source told Daily NK that North Korea’s military is maintaining a high state of operational alertness because Kim Jong Un simply ordered the military to “postpone” – rather than dismantle – any plans to take military action against South Korea.

The source also pointed out that ending the high state of combat readiness just four days after implementing it could cause a reduction in morale among front line soldiers.

“The GSD’s orders say that [the military] should maintain a high state of alert to vanquish the enemy as soon as the Supreme Commander orders it,” the source told Daily NK. “They are saying that the military should maintain this high state of combat readiness during the summer training period.”

North Korea’s summer military training period is scheduled to start from July 1.

Units outside of the “front lines” were never ordered into the highest state of alert, the source said, noting, however, that these units have been ordered to prepare for the upcoming summer military drills.

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Jeong Tae Joo is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. He focuses on North Korean military matters. Please direct any questions about his articles to